Pangasinan SP to probe plight of 43 students made to work full time in their OJT

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) has formed an ad hoc committee to look into sad plight of 43 students sent by the Pangasinan State University (PSU) in San Carlos City to undergo on-the-job training (OJT) but were instead referred to a manpower agency which endorsed them to a pharmaceutical laboratory where they worked 10 hours a day as regular workers.

Second District Board Member Raul Sison said the ad hoc committee chaired by Sixth District Board Member Alfonso Bince Jr., was formed by Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim following a letter sent Monday to Gov. Amado Espino Jr. claiming that one of the students, who was made to work as regular employees although on OJT, felt ill and was now in critical condition.

The student, Dahrel de la Cruz, was first taken to the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital in San Carlos City till he was transferred by parents to another hospital.

The letter stated that students on OJT were referred by an official of PSU to JIF Human and Referral Services whose office is located at Barangay Quezon in San Carlos City.

JIF in turn endorsed the students to Interfil Laboratories Inc in Canlubang, Laguna which gave them full-time work from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. but it was not known whether they were paid for their work

According to the letter sent to Governor, which he immediately referred to the SP, De La Cruz feel ill because of the pressure of work, triggered by “unsuitable environment”.

The parents of the patient, Rogelio and Isidra de la Cruz , wondered why Dahrel was made to work full time in a pharmaceutical company which has no relevance to their son’s Bachelor in Business Administration, major in Human Resources, course.

They learned that while in that company, Dahrel was not allowed to go home when his body has begun to weaken.

Sison said the ad hoc committee, composed of the committees on education, social welfare and development, labor and laws and justice, will meet on June 6 to hear the sides of the other students, their parents, officials of PSU San Carlos City and Dr. Dexter Buted, PSU president, regarding the matter.

The SP has officially ended its session but in view of the urgency of the matter, it has agreed to meet on June 6 to investigate the same and if it not completed, will be continued by the succeeding batch of SP members in July.

“What I cannot understand is that the 43 students referred to a manpower agency for OJT and which endorsed them to work on full-time basis in a pharmaceutical company are graduating students in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, major in Human Resources, which is not related at all pharmaceuticals.

He said this is the first time he heard that students taking OJT as requirement for their graduation are being referred to a manpower or job recruiting agency and not directly to a company where they can train in accordance with their academic works.

It was not yet clear whether how much of their supposed pay actually went to the students and even to the recruiting agency or the PSU official who made the referral to the recruiting agency, Sison said.

But based on the letter received by Gov. Espino, Dahrel de la Cruz mentioned to his parents Rogelio and Isidra de la Cruz that he and his fellow students are still being charged Php50,000 by the pharmaceutical firm when in fact they already worked full time even as OJT.

Is a student taking OJT now being made to pay the company he or she will go and train? Sison asked. PNA/